Historical and Archaeological Findings in News

900-year-old Chalukyan Inscription discovered  


From UPSC perspective, the following things are important :

Prelims level: Kalyana Chalukya, their administration, arts, architecture etc.

Mains level: NA

What is the news?

A 900-year-old Kannada inscription from the Kalyana Chalukya dynasty has been discovered in a state of neglect at Gangapuram, a temple town in Jadcherla mandal, Mahabubnagar, Telangana.

  • The inscription dates back to June 8, 1134 CE (Friday) and was issued by the Customs Officers of Tailapa-III, son of Kalyana Chalukya Emperor ‘Bhulokamalla’ Someswara-III.
  • It records the remission of toll taxes for the perpetual lamp and incense of God Somanatha.

Who were the Chalukyas?

Origin and Expansion:

  • The Chalukyas emerged as a prominent dynasty in the 6th century CE, with their capital at Badami in present-day Karnataka.
  • Pulakeshin I, the founder of the dynasty, ascended to the throne around 543 CE and expanded the empire by defeating the Kadambas, Mauryas, and other neighboring kingdoms.
  • Pulakeshin II, one of the most illustrious rulers of the Chalukyan Empire, ascended the throne in 610 CE and significantly expanded its territory through military conquests and diplomatic alliances.
  • The empire reached its zenith under Pulakeshin II, extending its influence over large parts of Southern and Central India, including present-day Karnataka, Maharashtra, Gujarat, and Andhra Pradesh.

Dynastic Divisions:

  • The Chalukyan Empire witnessed the emergence of multiple dynastic branches, including the Badami Chalukyas, Western Chalukyas (also known as the Later Chalukyas), and Eastern Chalukyas (also known as the Chalukyas of Vengi).
  1. Badami Chalukyas ruled from their capital at Badami and were known for their contributions to art, architecture, and literature.
  2. Western Chalukyas, based in Kalyani (present-day Basavakalyan), continued the legacy of their predecessors and established their dominance over parts of present-day Karnataka and Maharashtra.
  3. Eastern Chalukyas, based in Vengi (present-day Andhra Pradesh), carved out their own kingdom and played a crucial role in the political dynamics of South India.

Religion and Faith:

  • The Chalukyas were patrons of art, literature, and architecture, fostering a rich cultural environment within their empire.
  • They promoted Hinduism as the dominant religion and contributed to the construction of numerous temples dedicated to Hindu deities, including the famous Virupaksha Temple at Pattadakal.
  • The Chalukyas also patronized Jainism and Buddhism, leading to the construction of Jain caves and monasteries in regions under their control.

Decline and Legacy:

  • The Chalukyan Empire faced internal conflicts, dynastic rivalries, and external invasions, leading to its gradual decline from the 12th century onwards.
  • The defeat of Vikramaditya VI by the Cholas in the 12th century marked the end of the Western Chalukya dynasty, while the Eastern Chalukyas continued to rule in Vengi until the 13th century.


  • The empire was divided into administrative units known as ‘Rashtras or Mandalas’, each governed by a local administrative officer known as a ‘Mandaleshwara’.
  • At the higher levels of administration, provincial governors known asRashtrakutas’ were appointed to oversee multiple mandalas and report directly to the king.
  • Revenue administration played a crucial role in sustaining the empire, with land revenue being the primary source of income. The empire maintained a sophisticated system of land measurement and taxation to ensure a steady flow of revenue.

Arts and Culture:

  • Sculpture flourished under the patronage of the Chalukya rulers, with exquisite examples of stone carvings adorning temple complexes and royal monuments.
  • The famous Nataraja sculpture at Pattadakal, depicting Lord Shiva in his cosmic dance pose, is a masterpiece of Chalukyan art.
  • Pampa, a court poet of the Chalukyas, composed the epic poem “Vikramarjuna Vijaya” (also known as “Pampa Bharata” or “Pampa Ramayana”) in Kannada, narrating the story of the Mahabharata from the perspective of Arjuna.
  • The Chalukyan era witnessed the development of classical dance forms like Bharatanatyam, as evidenced by sculptures found in temples such as the Mallikarjuna Temple at Pattadakal.
  • Ranna, a prominent Kannada poet of the Chalukyan period, composed the “Ajita Tirthankara Purana,” an epic poem celebrating the lives of the Jain Tirthankaras.


  • Chalukyan temples are architectural marvels, characterized by their distinctive Dravidian and Nagara styles collectively called the ‘Gadag Style’ .
  • The Virupaksha Temple at Pattadakal, built by the Chalukyan king Vikramaditya II in the 8th century, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site renowned for its intricate carvings and towering gopurams (entrance gateways).
  • Similarly, the Durga Temple at Aihole, dating back to the 7th century, showcases exemplary Chalukyan architecture with its ornate pillars and sculpted panels depicting Hindu deities and mythological scenes.



2019: Building ‘Kalyaana Mandapas’ was a notable feature in the temple construction in the kingdom of

  1. Chalukya
  2. Chandela
  3. Rashtrakuta
  4. Vijayanagara


Practice MCQ:

The ‘Gadag Style’ of Temple Architecture is associated with which of the following dynasties?

  1. Chalukya
  2. Kakatiya
  3. Rashtrakuta
  4. Kadamba

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